Gordon Onslow Ford/Lucid Art Foundation

As part of a curatorial residency at the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness, California Laura Whitcomb oversaw the second phase of the Gordon Onslow Ford archive. The archive was given structure to prepare the work for a future donation to a public collection. The project saw as a key endeavor to find key scholarship material for his 2019 publication Gordon Onslow Ford A Man on a Green Island edited by Fariba Bogzaran, the Lucid Art Foundation director.

After a curatorial residency with the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness, California in 2016, Laura Whitcomb was asked to organize the second phase of the archive of artist Gordon Onslow Ford (1912-2003.) Onslow Ford became the youngest member of the Surrealist party when he joined in 1938, brought his collection of Surrealist and indigenous art to the Bay Area before joining the Dynaton with Wolfgang Paalen and Lee Mullican. Whitcomb’s familiarity with the artists’s arena and oeuvre was key to organizing the expansive collection of art, photos, manuscripts, writings, letters, postcards, personal memorabilia along with highly important documentation from his wife the critic Jacqueline Johnson and his father and grandfather the sculptor Edward Onslow Ford. The curatorial created a series of capsule archives of Hodo Tobase, Harry Partch, the S.S.Vallejo and ephemera from the bohemian culture of the Bay Area at mid century. The curatorial organized a provenance section as well as documentation of Onslow Ford's collection in the 1930's that had some of the most important works from the movement advised by its leader Andre Breton. The curatorial expanded the collection with adding the papers of David Cole who had an important and unknown gallery on the Vallejo which Onslow Ford shared with Varda before Alan Watts became a resident. Laura Whitcomb is currently creating a database of Gordon Onslow Ford's collection of early Surrealist periodicals, letters, photographs, postcards, books, art work and ephemera before 1950 that will comprise one of the most expansive collections of early Surrealist material in California.